Paul H. Humble

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The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which is intended to prevent nuclear weapon test explosions and any other nuclear explosions, includes a verification regime, which provides monitoring to identify potential nuclear explosions. The presence of elevated 37Ar is one way to identify subsurface nuclear explosive testing. However, the naturally(More)
Age-dating groundwater and seawater using the (39)Ar/Ar ratio is an important tool to understand water mass-flow rates and mean residence time. Low-background proportional counters developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory use mixtures of argon and methane as counting gas. We demonstrate sensitivity to (39)Ar by comparing geological (ancient) argon(More)
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory reports on the detection of 39Ar at the location of an underground nuclear explosion on the Nevada Nuclear Security Site. The presence of 39Ar was not anticipated at the outset of the experimental campaign but results from this work demonstrated that it is present, along with 37Ar and 85Kr in the subsurface at the site(More)
Measuring radioactive xenon isotopes in the atmosphere is an important technique used for monitoring within the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). Several process steps are needed to capture and prepare a xenon sample suitable for transfer to a nuclear detector. These processes include air drying, xenon collection, concentration, and(More)
Development of ultra low background gas proportional counters has made the contribution from naturally occurring radioactive isotopes - primarily α and β activity in the uranium and thorium decay chains - inconsequential to instrumental sensitivity levels when measurements are performed in above ground surface laboratories. Simple lead shielding is enough(More)
Argon-39 can be used as a tracer for age-dating glaciers, oceans, and more recently, groundwater. With a half-life of 269 years, 39Ar fills an intermediate age range gap (50-1,000 years) not currently covered by other common groundwater tracers. Therefore, adding this tracer to the data suite for groundwater studies provides an important tool for improving(More)
Air samples were taken at various locations around The University of Texas at Austin's TRIGA Mark II research reactor and analyzed to determine the concentrations of 37Ar, 41Ar, and 133Xe present. The measured ratio of 37Ar/41Ar and historical records of 41Ar releases were then utilized to estimate an annual average release rate of 37Ar from the reactor(More)
Argon-37 is an environmental signature of an underground nuclear explosion. Producing and quantifying low-level (37)Ar standards is an important step in the development of sensitive field measurement instruments. This paper describes progress at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in developing a process to generate and quantify low-level (37)Ar(More)
An innovative adsorption cycle heat pump technology is presented that is compact and capable of achieving high energy efficiency for integrated space heating, air conditioning, and water heating. High energy efficiency is accomplished by effectively recuperating heat within the system to minimize energy consumption. This substantially reduces the(More)
Novel microchannel absorbers have been scaled-up and incorporated into a 5-kW-scale ammonia-water absorption heat pump. The planar microchannel absorbers operate with thin wick structures to enhance mass transfer in the absorption channels which are interleaved with microchannel heat exchange layers. The resulting rapid heat and mass transfer facilitates(More)